When transitioning from the military to a civilian job it is important to keep some things in mind. While there may be stiff competition in the civilian arena, you have a unique set of skills to offer your employer. Once you have obtained the necessary certificates and have made sure you are flight ready, here are five jobs that you may qualify for.
1. Aerial Firefighter
This job involves firefighting from the air. The pilot circles over a wildfire and dumps water or flame retardant onto the fire. Aerial firefighters are used to put out wildfires. There has been an increase in wildfires recently. This is a contractual job and you should have the flight hours and certification requirements from your service. Your safety training and flight skills will give you an edge for this job.
2. Flight Instructor
You will be teaching students how to handle different planes. In the military you were taught to pass on information effectively and clearly. This will come in handy when you are teaching your students. One way to find out about local jobs is to join a military flying club. This could lead to becoming a flight instructor at your local flying school. The time in the air will add up your civilian flying experience.
Oil companies often hire helicopter pilots for off shore flying. There are charter flights to remote locations and some corporations will use helicopters. “If you have VIP flying background it will help in the corporate sector. Also your IFR, instrument flight rules, experience in the military will be helpful. If you are dual rated, you may be able to fly both rotary and fixed wing aircraft which your employer may see as an advantage,” says an expert from FBO Services.
4. Air Traffic Controller
This job deals with air flight patterns and airline traffic control. While your military background will be of use when applying for this position, you will also need to train at the FAA academy.
5. Commercial Pilot
This job differs from an airline pilot in that you would be flying unscheduled flights. You will probably be dealing less with the public and other employees. You will be in charge of scheduling your flights and loading luggage. Commercial flights include charters for individuals and aerial photography. This is a great job if you want a more flexible schedule.
6. Airline Pilot
This job requires thousands of hours of in-flight experience that you have probably already gained from the military. You will not be responsible for plane maintenance but you will have to check your operating systems before and during the flight. You will work alongside a co-pilot and flight attendants. You will also need to converse briefly with passengers during your flight. Be sure to have a record of your flight hours in your log book for this and other jobs.
These are some of the jobs that are available to transitioning pilots. When you are ready to apply for these jobs, keep a couple of things in mind. Do not use military speak on your resume. Make sure your resume and flight records are up to date. Research the company where you are applying. If you are called for an interview, be sure to dress professionally and have your documents ready. Be humble and certain when speaking to your possible employer. Most of all, be yourself . These jobs are available and you have the advantage of flight time and practice. Use your time in the military to get your flight hours and education you will need and you will be flying high.
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